She’s a tomboy. He’s the boy next door.
Charlie spent almost all her life with 1 dad, 3 older brothers, and a boy next door, which explains why she’s probably the toughest contemporary female MC. She plays football on the guy’s team, outruns any of her brothers, tackles the stupid things brothers do, hasn’t worn a single make up in her life, and doesn’t give a crap about what others think of her. So you can imagine the shock she went into when she had to work as a model at a chichi boutique to pay off her speeding ticket!
When things get too tough, Charlie finds herself wandering at midnight to the fence separating her house from Braden’s, who had been together with her family for so long that he was almost like a brother… almost.
I knew I loved Kasie West’s The Distance Between Us, but how many authors have continually impressed you? Not many. So I had doubts before reading On The Fence… and here we are! SO. MUCH. ADORABLENESS. Here is a book that made me happy like how the sunrise makes one fill to the brim with hope and joy. THIS. Is perfect proof why you don’t need tons of drama to write an amazing book. On The Fence is kind of a finding-yourself contemporary, it doesn’t have thrilling dips and turns, only gentle steps that tread on the fuzzy feels in your heart.
And can we please take a moment to talk about how jealous I am of girls with boys next door? This best friend romance. So perfect. Braden and Charlie know each other so well and they have the best dynamics. There was no way it wouldn’t happen! They would banter and tease and be serious when they needed to, and it all felt so natural. I love it when Braden would automatically step in as a “brother” to protect Charlie even when he isn’t part of the family.
Charlie isn’t the most relatable character. That would have bothered me in any other book, but not so much for Charlie. She can be fierce and determined on the football field but when it comes to femininity, that girl knows zero, zilch, nada. At first, I didn’t know if I buy her “I have no idea what girls do” character because it’s not like her whole life is revolved around her family, doesn’t she go to school and see how girls be girls? Then as the story progresses and Charlie struggles to define herself, I slowly accepted her, and appreciated her strength in finding meaning in being decidedly different from other girls.
I know many readers gave multiple hearts for Charlie’s family dynamics. While I liked her family, they weren’t memorable. The brothers are a great ensemble that work superbly together, their homely atmosphere is infectious, but I hoped for a bit more backstory on top of that. They are fun and cute like every other happy family, but not outstanding as individuals because to me, they felt like faceless characters only known for being “Charlie’s Brother”. Charlie had THREE brothers, that’s a lot of side characters to flesh out in 320 pages, so I understand how difficult it is to characterise each of them. Just thought it could’ve been better!
Have you read this one?? Heard of it? If you’ve read it, did you enjoy it? I would LOVE to hear regardless! If you haven’t read it, is it something on your radar or that you think you will read this summer?